Gratitude for the Year Ahead with Intention Setting
January 16, 2020
Show Notes: Episode 78 – Millennials As Managers
January 20, 2020

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This transcript was created using an automated transcription service and may contain errors.

JoDee 0:09
Welcome to The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, where we talk about embracing joy in the workspace. I’m JoDee Curtis, owner of Purple Ink, and with me is my co-host and friend Susan White, owner of Susan Tinder White Consulting. Today our topic is millennials as managers. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are individuals born between 1981 and 1996, and there are approximately 73 million millennials in America today. The generation is already the largest in the workplace, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 75% of the workplace will be made up of millennials by 2030. As managers, millennials are inclined to develop environments that create opportunities to learn and grow, active interest in one’s work, and opportunities to advance. Giving and receiving meaningful feedback is important to millennials. Many millennial managers give their employees frequent updates, focus on task projects and goals, and could even struggle with micromanagement. Finally, millennials are prone to change processes and policies that may no longer serve an organization and can be a force to be reckoned with when entering management positions.

Susan 1:39
Millennials often struggle to find good jobs that engage them. According to Gallup, only 29% of millennials employed in the US are engaged at work, and six out of 10 are actively looking for a new job. They are highly connected to the world around them, constantly having access to entertainment, news, friends, strangers, and more through the Internet and technology. So JoDee, I know you’ve got a group of millennials that you’ve lived with for many years. Did these things ring true to you?

JoDee 2:08
They do, although I think really, most people want a lot of the things that we just talked about. Most people want meaningful feedback, if not all, most employees want frequent updates, want to focus on tasks and projects, and may struggle with micromanagement. So I don’t think that’s a thing that is specific to millennials. But I think that millennials have been the best about bringing our attention towards these issues.

Susan 2:40
I agree.

JoDee 2:40
I think they ask more about feedback. I think maybe even you could say they demand feedback, and I don’t think other previous generations…

Susan 2:51

JoDee 2:51

Susan 2:52
It’s lifted our game and our needing to give feedback and to give clear feedback and good and bad, right?

JoDee 2:58

Susan 2:59
That’s why I think crucial conversations have become much more important.

JoDee 3:01
Absolutely, absolutely. So I think they’ve just been so fantastic at bringing these things to light, and even when we say only 29% of them are engaged –

Susan 3:14
That’s probably not that different than all ages, I would think.

JoDee 3:17
It’s not, it’s not actually, but I think, too, they’re more likely to speak up about it, and they’re more likely, we know there’s stats out there to prove that they’re more likely to leave the organization when they’re not engaged. Whereas Gen X and baby boomers might not be engaged, but they might not do anything about it. So they’ve, I think they’ve forced organizations to up their game.

Susan 3:44
Which is really I think, why we have this topic today, is what can we do to make sure that we are engaging millennials and people of all ages, but especially millennials, given the fact that they’re taking over the workplace.

JoDee 3:56
Right. That’s right. So we brought in an expert today who speaks frequently and coaches millennials, Lindsay Boccardo. Lindsay is a professional speaker, traveling the country to work with organizations who are ready to maximize the talent of multiple generations in their workforce. She provides education, training, and a whole lot of laughter to help groups understand how the experiences they had growing up directly affect their relationships at work.

Susan 4:28
I’ve heard Lindsay speak and she made me laugh. So that is a true introduction.

JoDee 4:32
She’s fantastic for sure.

Susan 4:36
Lindsay, we’re so glad that you’re here.

Lindsay 4:38
Thank you. I’m glad to be here.

Susan 4:40
So what is so different about each generation?

Lindsay 4:43
Well, and just look at the memes online and you will see how mad everybody is at each other! No, I think what’s interesting is whenever I talk about this, I make sure to say that human nature has not changed and developmental psychology hasn’t changed. So an 18 year old 200 years ago still struggled with higher reasoning, just like an 18 year old does today. So sometimes I see older, more experienced employees get frustrated with young employees simply because they have no experience. It’s not a generational issue at all. So I think one of the most important things when I see this come up and when we want to, like slam a generation, like “ugh, ok boomer,” or “there’s a millennial for you,” whatever it is, I’m always quick to say, hold on a second, what else could be going on? Because generations don’t answer all the questions. I think what a generational research does show is that there are patterns that all humans look for in life, and it looks different based on when you were raised, the actual way that that’s expressed looks different. So every human is looking for their safety needs to be met, to have – to make sure that they have food, shelter, water. Well, my grandparents, that looked like going through the Great Depression, and, you know, watching their friends go off to World War II, and then for my dad that was trying not to get drafted into Vietnam, so they had a different experience when it came to just survival. And so they’re – we’re – all humans want to live and thrive. I believe that’s true, Abraham Maslow would say that that’s true, self-actualization is something all humans reach towards. But depending on the moment that you’re born and what’s going on in society and the ideals that you’re raised with, it’s expressed differently. So I see that when I talk to people who were, you know, raised in the 50s, 60s, 70s, they’ll say to me, I got a job to make money, because we were lucky to have money and not be poor. We’re like, you know, we’re trying to build up the economy. We’re trying to be stable. Millennials would say, more likely, I got a job. Yeah, I need to make money, but I’m really there to live out my purpose to make friendships that matter to me, to be connected to people. Well, if you took Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you would just see, we’re all reaching towards self-actualization. We’re just at different layers of that. And so I think there’s so much in common between humans. I’ve had the, I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from all the different walks of life when I was a musician. So I’d meet people from European countries, from Mexico, I’d go into prisons and talk to prisoners, I’d go on college campuses. And so I’m like, wait, humans are really the same, we want a lot of the same things. It just looks different. It’s expressed a little different based on your starting point. So I think it’s just important to note that even to have compassion for people that grew up in a different time than you, in a different place than you, to understand that we all have different starting points, but we all want the same thing in the end.

JoDee 6:38

Lindsay 7:29
That’s my long winded answer for what’s different between generations!

Susan 7:32
That’s lovely!

JoDee 7:32
Yeah, that – you articulated that very well. And a good – I love your first comment about saying an 18 year old is an 18 year old, right?

Lindsay 7:41
Yeah, there’s some developmental psychology. We all talk about this in our training in some level, you know, somebody before they’re 25, even some of the personality assessments we want to use on them aren’t always accurate, because they don’t have their full frontal lobe. So I used to test as an ISTJ, now I test as an ENFP. Like, did I completely flip? Not really, I didn’t really flip, I just grew up and my first job as a musician really changed my brain. It changed the way that I show up to work. It changed how I interacted with people. And so I think it’s important to ask that question, and that’s always been true. Humans take – we’re the longest developing mammals compared to any other animal. So.

Susan 8:21
I think I’m still developing. I really do.

Lindsay 8:23

Susan 8:24

Lindsay 8:25

JoDee 8:26
So how has leadership changed?

Lindsay 8:29
Yeah. So when we look at, you know, when Google did that internal audit, culture audit, and they asked, like, what are the top trends? Like, what are the top things that you love about your managers? Do you remember, everybody was, like, gaga over this research? It seems that leadership has changed into many – you’ve got to have not just the skill of the trade or the work that you’re doing, but you also have to have a ton of emotional intelligence. You’ve got to be able to collaborate. You’ve got to be able to coach. It’s about bringing diverse humans together, not just age range, but socioeconomic background, race, gender, sexuality, can you be the type of leader that is comfortable with others that are not like you? Are you able to listen deeply? Are you able to show empathy? Do you build connections? Or do you build separation on your team? I think it’s so much harder to be a leader today, because leadership is not about top down authoritarian, kind of military, militaristic structure. It’s about being maybe the center of the hub, organizing the collaboration that’s happening around you, maximizing the people’s strengths, drawing them out of them, instead of telling them what to do. So when I look at definitions of leadership from like, 1920, and then fast forward 100 years, it’s almost flip-flopped from what it was, which I think is fascinating.

JoDee 9:46
That is fast.

Lindsay 9:46
It’s hard. It’s hard to be a leader today, takes a lot of emotional intelligence.

JoDee 9:51

Susan 9:51
That’s so interesting, because I think we all have in our mind, you say leader, you know, we have a picture that comes into our brain, and essentially that command and control, somebody took the mountain, right?

Lindsay 10:00

Susan 10:00
Somebody who led us through really difficult times. But that later, it’s going to look very different today, somebody who’s effective at leading the millennial team, or even just the diverse teams that we have in the workplace, it’s going to look so different. Is there any great leader that you would point to that you think’s really figured it out, that you think we should be thinking about emulating?

Lindsay 10:20
That’s a good question. I think it’s, it’s one thing to hear a leader talk about it. It’s another thing to see it in practice. So it’s hard for me to say, because I can say that I love the show The Profit. I love watching an awesome business leader. So I would say, I don’t know Marcus Lemonis, like, personally, from The Profit, but when I watch him deal with businesses that are not doing well because of the people problems –

Susan 10:47

Lindsay 10:47
He’s – listens first every time, he believes the best. So even on TV – it’s reality TV, so you know, they want the audience to be like, you’re an idiot, ha ha, you know, but then he’s got to deal with the person. So every time that there’s something that’s like, obviously wonky, he still handles it by listening, by showing compassion, by believing the best. So, I mean, again, I don’t know him personally, but he seems to really understand that coaching people, and walking through life with them and showing empathy turns around businesses a lot faster than telling people what to do.

JoDee 11:18
So Susan, I have to laugh that we’ve asked a millennial who their leadership role model is and they’ve told us someone from reality TV.

Lindsay 11:26
And there it is! Cheers to that.

Susan 11:30
We’re gonna find them in all different sizes and shapes.

JoDee 11:32
That’s right. That’s fantastic, I love it.

Susan 11:33
That’s the cool part, that’s the change.

Lindsay 11:34
Well, if you ask, like, somebody younger they’re going to be like, this guy on Snapchat! I don’t even know how to get into Snapchat!

JoDee 11:38

Susan 11:42
So Lindsay, we have Generation Z now entering the workforce. Why are we still talking about millennials so much?

Lindsay 11:49
I know, we should move on, shouldn’t we?

Susan 11:51
I’m wondering!

Lindsay 11:52
Let it go, people! They’re just humans that grew up in the 80s and 90s, let it go.

Susan 11:57
We’re fascinated with them, though.

Lindsay 11:59
We are. I think one of the main reasons is because they’re a huge population. So you’ve got boomers and you got Gen Xers, and you got millennials. Well, boomers typically are the parents of millennials, and there’s 10,000 more of them than Gen Xers. So you just have this weird gap where by 2030, it’s projected that 75% of the workforce will be millennial. So one of the reasons we’re talking about it so much is that they – it’s almost like, remember when you played on the playground as a kid, you played King of the Hill, and you were fighting to get to the top? Well, there are just way more millennials playing on the playground than any other generation. So if we don’t talk about them, it can tank our business, because we won’t have employees, because they’ll go out and find – they’ll go sell stuff on Etsy. I have a client who sells stuff on Etsy and makes 10 grand a month.

JoDee 12:48
Oh my gosh!

Lindsay 12:48
What are the chances that you’re going to get her to come work for your company, right?

Susan 12:52

JoDee 12:52

Lindsay 12:53
Yeah. And we have to look at them as consumers, too, I know banking is looking at millennials like crazy as consumers, because banking is a very disrupted industry. So it’s, it’s this issue of there’s so many ants on the hill, there’s so many kings on the hill that you can’t ignore it. Exactly. Just sheer numbers makes them commanding. Not that they’re necessarily more entitled or narcissistic, it’s just, there’s so many of them, if we don’t respond to them, it’s gonna be really hard to build viable businesses.

JoDee 13:23
I’m completely sidetracked right now thinking about King of the Hill stories –

Lindsay 13:27

JoDee 13:27
when I was a child. That was, like, my favorite game at my house.

Lindsay 13:30
You liked that? Did you play dirty or were you pretty clean about it? You pulled at people?

JoDee 13:34
I’m not gonna admit.

Lindsay 13:36
She’s not gonna say on, on air.

Susan 13:37
I went – went inside and studied when that game started.

Lindsay 13:40
You went inside and studied!

JoDee 13:41
I’ll just tell you, I really like being the king.

Lindsay 13:45
Yeah, there it is!

Susan 13:47
No surprise.

JoDee 13:48
I tried to be clean, but –

Lindsay 13:50
It’s hard to when you’re playing, you know, it’s a playground game.

JoDee 13:53

Lindsay 13:53
Do what you got to do.

JoDee 13:54
And Lindsay, what skills do millennials have from growing up with technology?

Lindsay 14:00
Yeah, well, I like to think of it like they grew up in two different countries, and like, went back and crossed the border, over and back. So they’re bilingual. Technology really has its own language. Does anybody here actually know how to use TikTok, right? Like we’re all looking at each other, like, what the heck is TikTok? It’s the app that kids are using these days. But it really –

JoDee 14:21
I did hear about it on The Ellen Show.

Lindsay 14:23
There it is. There it is.

JoDee 14:25
And I still don’t know what it means.

Lindsay 14:26
Ellen teaches us about the newest apps. So I think part of it is, I think of millennials as bilingual, that they can jump between worlds. And there’s, like, the concrete actual world that boomers grew up in, where you would get on your bike and ride and see your actual friend in real time and hang out with them, and then we have this virtual world that’s becoming more and more almost like our real world, right? How much time – I typically, when I look at my screen time a week, I’m spending like five hours a day on my phone. It’s probably just listening to podcast, but you know –

Susan 14:57
Listening to this podcast!

Lindsay 15:00
That’s right. Quick plug with our sponsor. So you’ve got these two worlds that we all live in, and millennials are the first bilingual group.

JoDee 15:10
I love thinking about it that way.

Lindsay 15:13
So then, now this – the thing is, I love to tell millennials, like, just wait guys, because you think it’s funny that you help Nancy attach a PDF on her email, but wait until you’re 20 years older, and Gen Z’s are coming in and they build entire universes through coding. Because for all of us that learned how to type in high school, they’re taking coding classes, so they’re building universes inside of the internet, and so by the time they get to me, they’re gonna be, okay, just code that real quick and build out and we can get going, I’m going to be like –

Susan 15:44
Nancy, would you come in here and help me?

Lindsay 15:45
Yeah, exactly, I’m going to need the next person to come in and help me. So I think that’s the piece that’s so interesting, is everyone will be humbled to technology and technological advances. Everybody will be at some point. It’s just that boomers are really feeling it right now in the workforce. So I think that, the being bilingual is a big one, and then being able to translate between those worlds is huge. I think – it’s not a skill, I think one of the drawbacks of growing up with technology, though, too, is you really do lose some human contact in that, and I think that’s a real concern when older generations who have been around the block and understand humans look at younger generations, they see them – I was just training at a company yesterday and somebody said, I was at PF Changs and watched this whole group of girls who were dressed up and going to their, like, prom. They didn’t even talk to each other. They were all on their phones the whole time. And I think that is really detrimental, detrimental to your psyche, to your emotional well being. So I don’t think technology is, like, the answer for everything. I think it cuts both ways, and I see that, that type of isolation is a big issue that’s happening now that will continue to happen. Yeah

JoDee 16:57
Yeah, fascinating.

Susan 16:57
I bet you’re right.

So what leadership skills would it be helpful for millennials to develop in general?

Lindsay 17:04
Well, I think that’s one of them, would be public speaking, like learning, I’m going to train you how to talk to a human, like a real face in real time. With that conflict resolution, being able to have really hard – and that’s true of any leadership training, isn’t it? We’re always talking about, how do you have hard candid conversations? I think millennials really need that, because of some of the messages when we were growing up about playing nice, playing well in teams, doing group projects, we don’t necessarily appreciate conflict as an – as a way to grow, we just see it as an issue. So I would say, if I was leading a team, or if I was coaching somebody who was leading a team, I would definitely make sure that they’re a strong verbal communicator across – because every generation’s – needs that, needs real human contact, and then also understand the nature of conflict and how you can resolve it as a leader. I think that’s a really big skill that millennials aren’t naturally bent towards. Understanding different generations is huge. I do think that matters. So we all think that everyone was raised like us, but we hear all the time, well, in my day, blah blah blah blah, and I think what people are saying when they say that is, I am not on the same page as you. We grew up, I grew up in a different time. And they’re trying to say, like, you don’t see me right now. You don’t understand me. And the tension is, we are actually just all living in this day. We are all together right now, living right now. And so –

Susan 18:33
This is your day. This is my day. This is our day.

Lindsay 18:36
This is our day!

JoDee 18:37
Regardless of what our early days were like.

Susan 18:40

Lindsay 18:40
Exactly. And so I think just not taking for granted the fact that, you know, I sat down with my dad the other week and asked him about what it was like to almost be drafted for Vietnam. You know, I have a totally different respect for him knowing that as he was turning 20, 21, 22 he was waiting for his name to be drawn. That would change how you see life, what matters most, that really would change that. So being able to understand and appreciate diversity, not just in – I think millennials really care about LGBTQ issues, I think they really care about racism issues. I think age tends to be a place where we’re a bit insensitive. There is a meme going around right now that’s like, “ok, boomer.” And it’s this idea of like, this is how a millennial dismisses a boomer because they seem out of touch. And I think, man, that’s just, you don’t want to be called the snowflake generation, but we’re turning around and just snapping right back. And as a leader, if you’re leading people, you’ve got to lead by listening and by seeking to understand other people first. So if I ever saw, like, a leader, put “ok, boomer” on something, I would – if I had a client do that on social media, I would text them immediately and say, hey, what are you doing? You’re – this is not healthy or good, you’re isolating people. So I do think being sensitive to that is important. And I would say the third skill, I would say would be emotional and stress management. We all need that, we talk about this in our, it’s embedded in a lot of work that we do, that people become more self-aware and then learn how to manage their own stress and anxiety. And millennials are the most anxious and depressed generation to date. There’s a lot of reasons why, it’s like, it’s like all the factors that go into a bad car crash. It’s like, oh, there’s so many reasons why we’re at this point right now. But as a leader, we, we need to lead the way in mental health and create a pattern of showing that we care about that, that we can be flexible with ourselves and with other people, that we can manage our own stress, we can really lead others well, I think that’s important.

JoDee 20:46
So skill number one that you mentioned was about helping them be more verbal. How do, how do you encourage that, or how do you – how do you teach that skill to others?

Lindsay 21:02
We have to write it out and then we have to practice it. So I would have my clients write out, like, say they’re like, I’m going to meet with my boss tomorrow, and I’m really upset because this project isn’t going as planned. I’d say there’s really those two elements, isn’t there, of, like, speaking to somebody in real time? It’s the content, is – are you organized in your thinking? And then can you deliver it in a way that people can understand, verbally and with your body and with your, you know, eyes? And so I would sit my clients down and say, I’m your boss right now, tell me how you’re going to express your frustration. And it would take a couple rounds and my clients would be sweating, they’d be crying, they’d be fidgety. You know, some of the people that I know that are amazing on social media, in person it’s like, so painfully awkward, you know, because they just can’t connect and have a normal conversation, and I think that’s to their own detriment. I think that’s – if you’re tense, like social anxiety is huge right now. If it’s hard to be around other people, we are social creatures, it’s going to be – you’re a pack animal. So we’ve got to learn how to, like, live in a pack. So I do think it’s really important that they, they’re gonna have to practice and get used to that.

JoDee 22:15

Lindsay 22:15
Get used to having…

Susan 22:16
Because they haven’t seen that role model, probably, they haven’t experienced themself, they haven’t been required to do it as they grew up. So.

Lindsay 22:22
You think about like people my age when we grew up? We, that’s – remember AOL Instant Messenger?

Susan 22:28
Oh, I sure do.

Lindsay 22:30
Those were like, we would spend – we’d come home from school, and we’d spend like a couple hours on AOL Instant Messenger. That’s where we would handle our conflict. We would – that’s how I broke up with people. That’s how I started dating people. That’s how you share with your friends that you’re mad by putting a passive aggressive away message up, obviously, but we didn’t have the same training or just experience of like, you’re playing in – not that we didn’t play in the neighborhood, but you know, the other ways that we resolve conflicts that are more distant than normal face to face contact. I think the farther that humans get from face to face contact, the sicker we get. That’s my own – I know I’m, like, pausing to say I – do I really want to say that on a podcast, but I think because we are such social creatures, we’ve got to have physical, real people contact every day. And that’s not, that’s more of a biological thing than a – and it’s a social issue. There’s a whole book called “Lost Connections” by Johann Hari. He’s the one that did that TED talk “How addiction is the opposite of connection.” Did you guys listen to that one?

Susan 23:37
I have not, but I should.

Lindsay 23:38
It’s so good.

JoDee 23:38
I haven’t listened to it, but I’ve heard about it.

Lindsay 23:40
People talk about it. Yeah. It’s a, it’s a top – I would really recommend that TED Talk. In his book “Lost Connections,” he talks all about how people are regularly healed by being together and community and we really do need each other. So I think more than ever, if you’re leading people, that’s a really good thing to understand and appreciate about human nature.

Susan 24:04
I wouldn’t mind a group hug right now.

Lindsay 24:07
We gotta stop and hug, we’ll be back in a few minutes.

JoDee 24:11
So funny. Well, so, Lindsay, what, what did we not ask you about that, that our listeners need to know about millennials as managers?

Lindsay 24:21
Well, I think something that comes up a lot is when a millennial is managing somebody older than them and how that’s just tense. So people will say, well, if I – millennials have come up to me after talks and said, how am I supposed to do this? This person is 20 years my senior. We both know it’s uncomfortable. And so again, this goes back to conflict resolution, this goes back to understanding the other. Being able to just say that, like, hey, I know you have 20 years of experience, and know that every time I see you, I remember all the work that you put in to be here and how much wisdom you have to bring to the team, and my job is just to coordinate all our efforts. Your effort is still, it’s the same amount of important it’s always been. My job is just to coordinate it so I don’t waste – so we don’t waste your time, really. So I like to help millennial leaders process how they’re going to handle leadership because – other piece is that older generations really have a hierarchy. They have an authority structure that younger generations don’t see or understand. I can tweet the president.

JoDee 25:25

Lindsay 25:25
Right, I mean, we live in a totally different world.

JoDee 25:27
And he’ll probably tweet you right back.

Lindsay 25:28
Unfortunately, he probably will tweet me back.

Susan 25:30
Oh, I’m so with you, Lindsay.

Lindsay 25:31
Right? So it’s a totally different world. If you are, if you’ve been in the workplace for 30 years, there’s a good chance that even when you’re in elementary school, you could have experienced corporal punishment, somebody in authority could hit you with a paddle.

JoDee 25:44

Susan 25:44
And they did.

Lindsay 25:45
And they did.

Susan 25:46

Lindsay 25:46
Right? And so you have a different version of what authority means. A millennial looks at their teacher and they typically call them their hero and their mentor. Those are the two words that they associate authority with. The people they look up to, not the people that can –

Susan 26:00
They’re scared of.

Lindsay 26:00
– hurt them if they disobey, or they’re scared of is even better way to say it.

Susan 26:03

Lindsay 26:04
So I think it’s just understanding that the, the version of authority and leadership that each one of us grew up with is probably different, even in this room. So if you’re leading people who are older than you, understand that it’s really weird to have somebody younger hit you with a paddle. You know, that’s kind of what that would feel like, having somebody younger have authority over you. I think it’s important to call that elephant out in the room and talk about it.

JoDee 26:29
Yeah. That’s great

Susan 26:30
Great advice.

JoDee 26:31
Well, Lindsay, you’re my hero and you’re way younger than I am.

Lindsay 26:35
You’re so sweet.

JoDee 26:37
But how can our listeners reach you if they are interested in having you help them individually or as a business?

Lindsay 26:45
Yeah, you can – my website is, really easy. You can find me there. I’m on LinkedIn a lot and Instagram, if you’re a millennial, you’ll find me on Instagram, more dog pictures than LinkedIn. But I’d love to connect and talk about what you’re experiencing and where you need support, because there are definitely pattern issues that I see all the time in business settings and then in individuals, and my goal is to be the bridge between the dream job that you’re either trying to create or lead other people in, and the actual individual or person that is trying to make that happen. So what I see regularly is that boomers want to be awesome leaders or millennials want to be awesome leaders, and they don’t know how to do that. They don’t know what they’re missing. And so my job is to be the bridge and make that happen. And one of my favorite things to do after a talk is have a boomer and a millennial come up to me together and say, we really do understand each other better now, thank you. That’s beautiful to me, because intergenerational teams are a lot more productive. They, they actually produce better results. So.

Susan 27:45
I believe that.

Lindsay 27:46
I want to be the bridge. That’s my, I think that’s a really important place to be. It’s my little corner of the world and I love it. So.

Susan 27:52
Thank you so much. I’ve learned a lot. I really appreciate it.

JoDee 27:55
Me too. Thanks so much, Lindsay.

Lindsay 27:56
You’re welcome.

Susan 28:00
So JoDee, we have a listener question today. Do you have any advice for creating stronger bonds between remote teams?

JoDee 28:08
Well, I do. And part of this, I’ll admit, I learned the hard way, because we’ve had some remote employees work for Purple Ink. And I don’t think I realized how I wasn’t enabling stronger bonds between people who worked outside of our day to day office, and some things I learned along the way, many of which actually came from those remote employees who said, for example, let’s have more face to face, FaceTime, Zoom type meetings, as opposed to talking on the phone. They want to see our faces, they want to see our body language and our facial expressions. And I realized for me personally, that I didn’t realize how I missed that same thing with them as well, that I’m missing their face and their expressions as well, too. A couple of other things, I think, became obvious to us that were important is, at times when you’re having a Zoom meeting, GoToMeeting, FaceTime meeting, whatever it is, to have everyone on the call be using that device to as opposed to having 90% of the people in the room and then one or two people on the call because that is so excluding for them to feel like the outsider or that people are making jokes or having sidebar conversations where they can see people laughing but don’t know what’s happening in the room. So we – several different times would have some meetings where everyone dialed in, and it was so much better to do that. Some advice I just heard recently, as well, was too many times we would Zoom in our remote employees, but then when the meeting itself was over, the objectives were met, we would hang up the phone and have our sidebar conversations after they got off. And someone in a group I was training recently said to encourage people who work remotely to have a snack break together or to, to bring their lunch and just sit and eat lunch together remote, so that you’re not missing out on that personal, casual conversation. We got to be good at including people in the meetings, but didn’t always think about including them in the casual conversations and I thought that was a great idea as well.

Susan 30:51
I do too. I would piggyback on that, having been in a remote – a remote employee for a couple of firms. When it comes time for holiday parties or celebrations of employee appreciation or whatever, don’t forget those remote employees. If you’re having a gathering or party, if it means they get – you send them a $20 gift card to Panera and suggest to them on the day we’re having a party, take yourself to lunch. I think that it really becomes alienating when you’re building for some kind of a company an onsite event. There’s no way you’re going to fly somebody in from Kalamazoo, Michigan or wherever for it. Make sure that you’re doing some type of a pop or celebration for them too.

JoDee 31:27
Yeah, that reminds me too. I trained a group last December that had a lot of remote employees, and they scheduled a two day training on Thursday and Friday, and the company Christmas party was on Friday night, and they did that intentionally, because they would have been flying the person in for the training anyway, but then that enabled them to also stay for the Christmas party, and I thought that was, that was a super –

Susan 32:00

JoDee 32:00
smart move, and very thoughtful. You’re right. In our in the news segment, according to an article from the New York Times, companies are increasingly hiring individuals with disabilities, individuals with large employment gaps, college students, retirees, and veterans looking to re-enter the workforce, and that’s because of the high unemployment rate. Flexible hours and work from home options are becoming more prevalent to accommodate all types of individuals, and some companies are even waiving criminal background checks and offering training to those who lack necessary skills. We’ve talked about many of these individual issues on our podcast, but we’re really seeing them come together all at once as companies are in a crisis to hire more people for the workforce, that we’re having to be more creative.

Susan 32:58
You know, one that I have just – I think it’s getting traction right now, and – is the spouses of service members, that they have a really high unemployment rate because of how frequently the service members need to move. And so that’s another, I think, yet to be tapped employee supply that some companies are really starting to get focused on. So I would encourage you, if that is one you haven’t looked at, you happen to be near some type of a base, take a look at it and see if you can’t tap in.

JoDee 33:25
Great advice. Thanks for joining us today and make it a JoyPowered® day. Thank you for listening. We hope you enjoyed The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast. If you liked the show, please tell your friends about it. And let us know what you think of our podcast by rating and reviewing us on Apple Podcasts. It helps new people find our show. The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Susan 33:58
You can learn more about JoyPowered® and find our books and blogs at We’re @joypowered on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. Sign up for our monthly email newsletter at

JoDee 34:14
If you have comments, suggestions, or questions about anything related to business or HR, you can leave us a voicemail at 317-688-1613 or email us at We hope you tune in next time. Make it a JoyPowered® day.

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily works behind the scenes at JoyPowered, helping to edit and publish the books, producing the podcast, and running the website and social media.

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